They said that we cannot base on who we will baptized (baptismal candidates) since we cannot know the elect in this life-and that credobaptist is wrong to based our doctrine on Jeremiah 31 since it enumerated the character of the elect there-and they also said that these qualities will be self-evident only on the Millenium or after His Second Coming.
I am also confused with this argument. What they are really saying is that baptism is not really about salvation. But read their cathechisms:
Shorter Catechism Q#94
Q: What is baptism?
A: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,1 doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Chist,2 and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace,3 and our engagement to be the Lord’s.4
Heidelberg Catechism Q#69-70 (Check Qs 69-74 for completeness)
Q. How does baptism
remind you and assure you
that Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross
is for you personally?
A. In this way:
Christ instituted this outward washing^1
and with it gave the promise that,
as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body,
so certainly his blood and his Spirit
wash away my soul’s impurity,
in other words, all my sins.^2
Q. What does it mean
to be washed with Christ’s blood and Spirit?
A. To be washed with Christ’s blood means
that God, by grace, has forgiven my sins
because of Christ’s blood
poured out for me in his sacrifice on the cross.^1
To be washed with Christ’s Spirit means
that the Holy Spirit has renewed me
and set me apart to be a member of Christ
so that more and more I become dead to sin
and increasingly live a holy and blameless life.^2
And you might think they are credobaptist !
And they added in Q74 that children of believers are promised salvation
Q. Should infants, too, be baptized?
Infants as well as adults
are in God’s covenant and are his people.^1
They, no less than adults, are promised
the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s blood
and the Holy Spirit who produces faith.^2…
-its this conditional or absolute? If conditional-on what grounds -I have just one answer –Faith of our children-the same with unbelievers! The New Covenant levels the playing field- no more advantage due to bloodline or race.
Some like Kuyper -taught presumptive regeneration-which sounded like the Catholic view of baptismal regeneration-they are just not as bold as the Catholics.
I wonder if the Dutch Reformed and other Christians who are paedobaptist would have skirted the error of racism and apartheid-if they just accepted credobaptist and work for the evangelism of other races.-controversial? I do not mean that paedobaptist are racist-and that some Christian racism stems from paedobaptist views (there are a lot of other sources) -but this doctrine add more support to their natural and/or sinful tendencies.
When will this pernicious influence ends in Christian church. First bloody persecution of Anabaptists-then now the heresy of Federal Vision-and an assault on the doctrine of justification. Brothers-when will it end-when will you discard this Constantinian legacy equating Christians with “who were born…of blood …of the will of the flesh…of the will of man”.
They said trying to be discerning in accepting brothers based their lifestyle and testimony is a foolhardy task So we might as well skipped being discerning and apply baptism to anyone else? Even if they don’t exhibit any outward proof of their election-Many pastors are not doing their job here-and just want numbers/ statistics in their report.
I remember that Christians are exhorted to make their calling and election sure -and that ”But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.””
Clearly to paedobaptist -baptism is not about salvation-it is just being a member of a visible organization called church-a theological construct called Covenant Theology=thus the term covenant children.
Why all the fuss in the elders’ interviews? Why just lower it anyone who can say 5 or more words from the good book-then let us baptized it immediately.
You know-you are being dishonest because-Presbyterians- are as strict as Baptist when they baptized adult believers-but immediately lower it when it comes to their children.
This is similar to our family problems a lot of us are experiencing. We are strict when it comes to other people-but when it comes to our children-who are very cute and coddly when they 5 years old and below- we just relax our standards and let them roam and play havoc in our house. This regime of lowering our standards must end- friends and brothers.